Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. You know there is a lot of turmoil in the world right now. A lot of crazy things going on and many times our men and women in blue take the brunt of it. Tonight we are going to tell you a story of a family whose lives were literally turned upside down this past January and we are going to show you the sportsmen that stepped up to lend a hand.
Doug was a family man, he loved being a husband and a father.
Doug Barney served 18 years as a police officer. Doug was shot and killed while searching for a man who left the scene of a traffic accident.
Thousands of police officers from across the nation as well as thousands of Utah citizens came to pay their respects to a man known not only a great officer, but as a great man. Who can forget the touching moment when his 13 year old son Jack stood over his father’s American flag draped casket and said good bye.
You know the brotherhood in law enforcement. I think you felt that. Wildlife and sportsmen, that’s a brotherhood to and that’s one of the purpose of why we came together today is to try and introduce you to that brotherhood.
This September, friends, fellow officers and sportsmen who didn’t even know Doug but knew of his sacrifice, came together to fulfill a wish for a dad who couldn’t fulfill it himself.
I call him hunting Claus. Bob Hunting Clause Thomas.
Conservation officer Gabe Patterson knew Doug’s story and as soon as he knew of Jack’s desire to hunt. He made one phone call to a landowner in Central Utah.
I told him a little bit about your dad and about you and he said “why don’t we make his day a little bit better? Why don’t I give him a $15,000 bull elk tag for this year?”
The tag was just the beginning. The Mule Deer Foundation gave Jack a custom rifle for his hunt, Badlands and Kings Camo made sure the family was outfitted, UCOA paid for the license and Monarch Mountain Taxidermy.
Unfortunately I don’t have nothing to give you. You’ve got to give me something to me right.
Told Jack that if he was successful, they’d mount his bull so he would always remember his hunt.
It feels like we’ve been confronted up close and personal this year with the worst and the best in people. And I’m so thankful for the best. The people that have stepped forward and given us that. So that the world hasn’t become too depressing a place for us.
You’ve got to yell tuna!
This is the fourth time Bob Thomas has invited a family into his house, and onto his ranch for this type of hunt.
To be able to share that this with these families that are recovering from these horrible things is pretty special to me and to own something like this, you should share it.
This elk hunt and all the equipment and all the donations that went into it are absolutely amazing and the I think Doug would have been blown away, overcome probably emotionally.
You are aiming for a little teeny, teeny weny spot. We have tons of time, we are going to see a ton of elk, so there is no pressure.
This would have been his dream week. Yeah this house would be his dream cabin, the location would be his dream spot. A hunt like this with the guys we have here. It would have just been his favorite week of the whole year. hHpefully he was here with us in spirit and got to enjoy the fact that his kids were out having fun, having a great time.
There he is, see him right through there?
Should I try getting a shot at him? No he’s little he’s just a boy.
Remember we are looking for granddad.
There’s just been so much, so much kindness.
Ever blow in one of these? Put your bottom lip here, your top lip here and blow.
Bob was great and so warm and welcoming. So it was even better than I expected.
He answered you.
Well the kids had a god time, they got a little tired up on the mountain. It was a pretty rough hike. Saw plenty of elk. They couldn’t wait to come back and go fishing
Does that feel pretty good? Yea. Nice, just a nice easy pull huh? Well Jack had a fall early today in the morning, so we are just double checking to make sure his gun is good before we head back out. Tonight is the night. Yup. Alright, we are back on the hunt.
Is it possible that there could have been something that happened at one of these hunts that changes a path that we may never know the answer to, but that we could have changed something in that young man who, you know, has had so many challenges and maybe it was something up here that did it. We may never know. Yea that’s my hope.
I see two bulls, but I don’t see. But they are both five points aren’t they?
That one is a six, five by six.
Bob is taking us to the lower reach of the ranch an area that usually holds a lot of elk. Gabe spotted a bull here the night before and thought we should take a closer look
We need to shoot that.
And right on cue the bull is herded up right where Gabe last saw him.
This thing gets steep as heck right down through here. So we can go over the top and maybe see something once we get on top. Might be easier than trying to side hill this.
Ethan I decided to stay back, we are just watching these elk from afar. While those guys are going to slip down and get a shot. Right here we are about 500 yards away. He needs to get at least two hundred and fifty. Two to two fifty we think is a good shot for him.
You know, I’m sitting here with my son, starting to think, what would happen to my family should something happen to me? That’s when the words of Sheriff Jim Winder came to mind when he spoke at the announcement for Jack’s hunt.
They often say that it takes a village and today and in days past and over the course of last year. I would say that we have seen a village come together over and over and over again.
When they see a member of the tribe that has fallen or has lost their way. We muster ourselves and we come forward and offer those tokens that can continue the journey. Hunting I think is the perfect metaphor for this. You are about to engage in a ritual that all young men and women throughout history have engaged in predominately with their parents. In this case, your dad cannot be here, but there are a thousand dads, ten thousand dads. When one falls the others will stand.
The fact that all of these people have come together in the way that they have is an amazing thing. We love you Jack and we’ll always be there for you.
Are the elk still in the same place? The elk haven’t moved, the bull is on the left side of the herd.
Just as Jack was about to get his chance, the herd sensed or smelled the hunters and took off.
Get ready I want you to shoot him in that brush right there.
Call him, call him.
Shoot he’s just low. He’s too low.
The bull never gives Jack a shot. The evening hunt is over, but the adventure is just heating up.
. It’s day two, we’ve awoke to a beautiful morning. There’s no wind and the elk are going nuts.
He’s one of the better bulls we’ve seen. This one or that one? That one.
You know it’s so neat to hunt these animals, not just drive up and shoot them. Jack got to experience a full on hunt. Belly crawling this morning.
That elk played cat and mouse, like them bulls do. They know where they are safe and he worked up and down the ridge, chasing bulls, chasing cows.
Ok, get ready. Get ready right there! Don’t shoot.
That’s a good bull. Ok. He might be over three hundred.
Four or five times we were on our bellies trying to put a sneak on this elk.
How good is your rest?
I was frazzled. I couldn’t take it another second you now, it was killing me. And Jack, calm as a cucumber laying behind that scope.
I want to get him to stop. There he is! Is that him?
So see how there is a line right behind his front shoulder?
Can you hit that crease? Maybe. Well no I don’t need a maybe buddy. I’m probably not taking it. OK, he wants to wait.
For a 13 year old kid to say, “No I’ll wait for a better shot” That’s…I couldn’t do that.
Right at the last I told Jack if he takes one step. We had a tree blocking his shoulder. If he takes one step and man oh man, that old boy took one step.
Come on buddy come on. How’s your…. There!
The relief that I felt and the happiness at that moment, unbelievable. That’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
What do you think of that? That’s awesome! That’s why we do this.
See his antlers! Dude I nailed him. What a shot, oh he’s a pretty bull.
to be able to come and be a part of something like this is a dream for me.
Show everybody what you put in your pocket. Oh yea. I got my lucky charm right up here. Your dads coin? uh huh.
Dear old dad is hanging tight with you. Yea. Very cool dude. I think your dad would be pretty proud, don’t you? Yeah! Yeah I think so to.
He was really proud of us. That’s one of the things I remember a lot. He always pushed us and just thought we were the best.
He was a really good man and I just really want to be like him.
woo wee, he is big!
I’ll tell you something kind of on a personal note. My marriage fell apart a couple of months ago and being up here with this family is the best I’ve slept in two months. So I think I owe them a thank you.
Funny how doing something nice for another family can help you.
Lex all that practice you did with the kid really paid off didn’t it? Yeah that was an amazing shot. That elk never even knew what happened. Best ending we could have had. Hey Jack, there you go. There’s your Havilon you’ve got to clean the elk. Ok. Alright.